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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

II.-PARGANA  CHHATA'.
THE pargana of Chh&ta lias a population of 84,598 and an area of 256 square
miles.   It lies immediately to the south of Kosi, with the same boundaries as
it to the west and east, rw., the State of Bharat-pnr and the river Jamuna ;
and, further, resembles its northern neighbour in most of its social and physical
characteristics.   Being the very centre of Braj, it includes within its limits
many of the groves held sacred by the votaries of Krishna; but, with the
exception of these bits of wild woodland, it is but indifferently stocked with
timber, and the orchards of fruit trees are small and few in number.    The
principal crops zxejodr and chand, there being 63,000 acres under the former,
and 29,000 grown with cJiand out of a total area of 160,433.   A large amount
of cotton is also raised, the ordinary outturn being about 20,000 mans.    But
the crop varies greatly according to the season ; and in 1873 did not exceed
1,500 mans, in consequence of the very heavy and continuous rains at the
beginning of the monsoon, which prevented the seed from being sown till it
was too late for the pod to ripen.   The coarse sandstone, which can be obtained
in any quantity from the hills of Nand-ganw and Barsana, is not now used to
any extent for building purposes, but it is the material out of which the impe-
rial saraes at Chhata and Kosi were constructed, and is there shown to be both
durable and architecturally effective.   The western side of the pargana is liable
to inundation in exceptionally rainy seasons from the overflowing of a large jhil
Bear Kama in Bharat-pur territory; its waters being augmented in their sub-
sequent course by junction with the natural line of drainage extending down
from Hodal.   In 1861, and again in 1873, the flood passed through Uncha-
ganw, Barsana, Chaksauli, and Hatldya, and extended as far even as Gobardtan;
but no great damage was caused, the deposit left on the surface of the land
being beneficial rather than otherwise.
The first assessment, made in 1809, was for Es. 1,02,906. This was
gradually increased to Rs. 1,77,876, and was farther enhanced by the last
settlement, Much land, formerly lying waste for want of water, was brought
under cultivation on the opening of the Agra Canal This has a total length
of 11 miles in the pargana, from Bhadaval to Little Bharna, with bridges at
each of those places and also at Katera and Sahar.
Till 1838 Sher-garh and Sahar were two separate parganas, subordinate
to Hie Aring tahsili: but in that year Sahar was constituted the headquarters of
a tahsildkj and so remained till the mutiny, when a transfer was made to